A historical analysis of public health, the law, and stigmatized social groups: The need for both obesity and weight bias legislation

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Abstract

History teaches that discrimination against socially undesirable groups leads to societal and governmental neglect of the stigmatized group's health problem. By placing weight discrimination in a historical context, this article demonstrates that legislation specifically aimed at rectifying obesity is less likely while weight bias is socially acceptable. Beyond obesity legislation, public health professionals may consider advocating for legislation directly targeting discrimination based on weight. This article reviews the history of discrimination against distinct groups and provides statutory solutions for discrimination based on weight. In addition to revising current statutes and regulatory rules, a unique statute targeting weight bias in the employment context is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S93-S103
JournalObesity
Volume16
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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